17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Baby Bliss (sarcasm)
Dear Lil' Sis,
Here is a picture of my placenta. Yup, after the beautiful baby girl, this will follow. It's gorgeous isn't it?
As you begin to think about the bliss of motherhood, let me provide you with a reality check. The first month (at least) is a whirlwind of pain, both physical, emotional, and mental. It is a time of euphoria (sometimes). It is the path to restarting your sex life...anybody know where the brakes or on this thing? And it is the beginning of the rest of your life. Say goodbye to the good ole days, now the real fun starts.
Here is what you might need in your bag of tricks:
Lansinoh breast cream. You rub this on your nipples after a feeding and it is ok for the baby to ingest it. I did not use this with baby #2, but did with baby #1...just depends on your comfort. With baby #2 my nipples got pussy blisters....don't fuss with them, they are ok for you and baby, they will heal in about a week.
If your breasts are in a lot of pain and you feel fluish or have a fever, this is a breast infection called mastitis. You need to see a doctor. To avoid this, if the baby goes a long stretch without eating (b/c she's getting bigger, sleeping longer etc.) just massage your breasts in a warm shower to get some of the milk out...just enough to relieve your pain....you will feel little hard spots in places sometimes. Or if you are desperate, massage over your kitchen or bathroom sink...or the toilet (if you are in an airport and you haven't pumped or fed your baby for 8 hours and the pressure involved with landing in the plane caused an explosion from your bosoms such that you REEKED of that sweet succulent breast milk, and upon removing your bra over said toilet it was a fountain of breast milk like no one wants to see)!
If the baby has a milky white substance on the inside of her mouth, this is thrush, also treatable...consult your doctor.
Your milk will not be there right away. A few days after you come home you will wake up from a nap as Dolly Parton. Until then you and baby are practicing, getting ready and the baby is eating colostrum. I had colostrum at around 32 weeks, so if you want to try to massage something out for fun, it might be there ; )
Try out your breast pump before you give birth...nothing will come out, but you will learn the mechanics of breastfeeding. Your baby does not suck the nipple, she presses your breast an inch or two above the nipple, so that the milk just comes OUT of the nipple...you will see this when you try out the breast pump.
Remember, your nipple has SEVERAL wholes....so don't be surprised when it looks like a sprinkler, not a hose.
Lansinoh breast pads. You don't have to use the stickies on the back, just shove them in your NURSING bra. They even have new ultra soft ones.
You will need several of these b/c milk is milk....it gets nasty. My fave ones that are also affordable are found at motherwear.
This sleep bra is AMAZING. Love it...get a few of these.
This one is great for you to hide the pads and have a nice, smooth look on the outside, it is more difficult to nurse in, but this is your going-out bra. It's called the perfect shaper.
Cottony Smooth cup is good for every day, but probably doesn't off support for big busty breastfeeders.
Please PLEASE PLEASE buy these bras...they are a must. And be prepared to buy a new set in about 6 months when your boobs shrink again (if you continue nursing). Also, if you are unsure about size, call them at motherwear, they really are experts.
When I had baby #1 I would get up at night, sit in the chair, get the boppy, water, everything all set up and nurse while I watched tv. NEVER did with baby #2, just nursed her lying down on each side. I used a flashlight so that we could all remember it was night. But with baby #1 it took me 4 months before I knew how to nurse lying down...so do what you can....just remember to burp and change after every feeding, and swaddling works wonders...I swaddled both girls for at least 4 months solid....EVERYWHERE we went.
Have lots of water on hand....breastfeeding makes you thirsty. Also take calcium b/c you are losing a TON producing milk. You are also needing 500 more calories a day to produce milk, so don't start dieting yet.
Tucks. Get the 100 pack....you will LOVE these...just dab your cootchie every time you go the bathroom and after a shower and ESPECIALLY after you start having sex again.
Speaking of sex. The first time back is like giving birth...just breathe through it baby. Buy some ASTROGLIDE...it is your friend.
Speaking of sex, you might want to keep your bra on for a while....milk likes to leak EVERY WHERE.
As for peeing....it burns, and the toilet paper feels yucky....with baby #1 they gave me a spray bottle when I came home but not the second time...so just get a sports bottle top water bottle, and every time you pee fill it up with warm water, and then spray yourself clean ....
These pads look good. These look good too. Just stay with long cushy ones, and get a variety. With my first baby I was convinced I needed Depends...let's just say it is so not cool to wear diapers while you are also changing someone elses...just get lots of luxuriously pillowy pads, and tucks and you will be fine. If you are lucky, the hospital will give you the ice pack and pads in one.
Here are some good cootchie tips.
Mylocin drops are good when they are gassy, or gripe water, if you can get your hands on some. If you have a collicky one or a baby that cries....start paying attention to what you are eating, b/c they could be reacting to your breastmilk.
Also have your baby meds bought ahead of time: motrin, tylenol, little colds, little noses...saline drops stuff like that.
Lately the docs say to just leave it alone, baby #1's fell off within a week. baby #2 had to get hers cotterized 3 times at the doctor. This means the belly button did not heal all the way, so if the stub falls off and it is still pussing and bleeding, the doctor has to burn it shut, it doesn't hurt the baby.
In your bag: your own snacks (sneak them when the nurse is out), and some for DH. Books to read, music to listen to, remember between contractions you have down time. You need to relax and have something to do. I listened to an ipod for #2, and read with #1.
Bring your own sweet-smelling things; shampoo and lotion-whatever will make you feel relaxed and like you. Comfortable clothes, baby's take home outfit. A change of clothes for DH in case he never makes it home. Bring your own gown or nightgown (ask your doc about this).
Make sure the carseat is ready.
Try to refuse things like a routine heplock (where they would put an iv). Advocate to move around...you cannot just lie there for 20 plus hours in a bed. This is where having a midwife is so great.
When you go into labor, try to stay home as long as you possibly can. You should go to the hospital when you are starting to cry and freak out about the pain, not when you are giddy and excited that it has begun. If you are too happy when you get there, you'll just wait around a LOT.
You might want a tripod for your video camera. I regret that I don't have more of the birth....you can even point the camera away from you if you don't want the gory details, as long as you have the SOUND of birth, that makes for great background on a slideshow for a dvd later (thank you for this great idea Carrie).
On a lighter note:
A fun book for you to read this summer:
Girlfriends Guide to the First Year. It was a great read a few weeks before giving birth. I didn't read this, but would have if I didn't have a toddler, Belly Laughs.
Nightmare of giving birth
Remember the hormones are busting out of your body after birth. 2 days, 4 days and 2 weeks and 4 weeks after giving birth you will be a non-functional, emotional basket case...this is hormones.
Watch for signs of post partum depression. If in a month life is still looking bleak and you have bad thoughts about your baby...you MUST tell your doctor. This is a real thing, and there is help available....it is out of your control, just hormones.
Give yourself an entire 2 weeks to recover....your body will be happy about this at the 6 week mark.
Oh, and with each subsequent baby you have, the afterbirth cramps get worse and worse and worse. My midwife chose to tell me this about 8 and a half minutes after delivering number 2...thanks a lot.